The world is a frightening place right now. We are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and part of our country has shut down. Others are trying to reopen safely, but not sure if they are helping increase the infection rates. All of us are watching headlines trying to determine if and when the pandemic will end. The uncertainty of the virus is the hardest part to cope with. We do not know how we will be impacted and we don’t know if we are over the hurdle or if we are ready for another round of being homebound. Managing anxiety during times like these is unprecedented.
You must stay informed about what is happening in the world. You must try and remain safe and do your part to stop the spread of the coronavirus. But realize there is a lot of false information being spread around to create panic and fear. Make sure to only watch reputable news sources that give stats and figures and that don’t sensationalize the news in a harmful manner. The CDC and World Health Organization are reputable sources of the news. Make sure you limit how often you check the news, to limit feelings of anxiety.
Focus on What you Can Control
Life as we know it has changed and been thrown into a tailspin. There are so many unknown variables. Take control of the little bit that we do know and understand. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, mouth) to limit the spread of germs. Stay at home as much as possible and avoid gathering with 10 or more people. Avoid non-essential shopping and travel and keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others. Also, get plenty of sleep to keep your immune system operating at its highest.
Plan for Everything
We have no idea if school will be closed or if your job will shut down or if you may be placed on quarantine. Write down specific worries and a list of possible solutions. Plan for the unexpected and be ready to take on the world in anyway possible. Set up a childcare plan with others to ensure your child will be taken care of if you still need to go to work. Ensure your home is ready for the possibility of working from home. Having a plan of action is the best way to keep control of a volatile situation.
Even though we are social distancing, make sure to keep in touch with friends and family via phone and video chats for your mental health. Social media can also be a great place to visit to see how others are coping with this lifestyle. This will help you to not feel all alone in the world. Make sure to talk about other things than just the coronavirus and focus on laughing when you can.